Obesity

Obesity is a serious risk to your health and quality of life.

Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. An estimated 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. That figure represents more than 50% of the American adult population. Of this group, 11 million adults suffer from severe obesity. In New Zealand Obesity is creating a similar toll on society.

 

Obesity is an excess of total body fat, which results from caloric intake that exceeds energy usage. A measurement used to assess health risks of obesity is Body Mass Index (BMI).

 

The American Obesity Association reports that obese individuals have a 50-100% increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals, with 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each year attributable to their obesity. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity could be a combination of the following:

  • Genetics

  • How fast your body burns food (metabolic rate)

  • Your eating and exercising habits

  • Psychological factors

  • Medications

Consequences of Obesity

If you are obese you may have:​

  • Shorter Life Expectancy

  • Obese people have more risk for:

    • Diabetes (type 2)

    • Joint problems (e.g., arthritis)

    • High blood pressure

    • Heart disease

    • Certain types of cancer (breast, uterine, colon)

    • Digestive disorders (e.g., gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GORD)

    • Breathing difficulties (e.g., sleep apnoea, asthma)

    • Psychological problems such as depression

    • Decreased fertility

    • Urinary Incontinence

 

Risks to psychological and social well-being

  • Low self-esteem

  • Loss of confidence

 

Difficulties with day-to-day living

  • Normal tasks become harder when you are obese, as movement is more difficult

  • You tend to tire more quickly and you find yourself short of breath

  • Public transport seats, telephone booths, and cars may be too small for you

  • You may find it difficult to maintain personal hygiene

Surgical Treatment

Recent research gives a clear picture as to how weight loss surgery has proven to be a successful method for the treatment of morbid obesity. 

For further reading on this research please click these links:

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